You’ve been preparing for your teaching overseas experience for a while now, and the idea of spreading your wings and flying off to distant lands is getting more appealing with every passing day. But how can you make sure you get the most from your adventures?
Teaching is one of the most rewarding and satisfying jobs around: you can begin to understand local traditions and ways of life in new countries as you travel, not to mention the honor of getting an insight into an entire culture, wherever you choose to look for a job. By teaching English to either children or adults as you travel, you could be making money while exploring literally anywhere in the world! Join us as we share 8 tips to boost your English teaching overseas experience.
1. Don’t I need years of teaching experience?
Nope! Plain and simple: anyone can begin to teach as long as they have a TEFL certificate. There are many online schools actively recruiting for teachers of all experience levels, so you’ll be sure to find something that suits you – from jobs for experienced teachers, right to beginners. You can learn about how to teach English online with no experience from The TEFL Org. There are loads of certificates to choose from, from a weekend course to more than 100 hours. The industry standard is 120 hours of training.
2. Make your life easier by preparing for the digital nomad life
You may have noticed that many countries are now offering digital nomad visas: a new visa created by some countries to combine aspects of existing visas with brand new elements tailored to those working remotely. This means a couple of things: you can use the list of countries offering them to narrow your job search and help you choose the country you’d like to explore or live in, AND you can become an online teacher and make any extra cash you may require from the comfort of wherever you choose to live, or perhaps while you enjoy your travels. Additionally, technology has transformed the world of education, opening up new opportunities for remote teaching and learning. With the help of technology, you can now connect with students from around the globe, deliver engaging online lessons, and utilize a range of tech gadgets to enhance your teaching career. It may even mean that you can legally take a remote teaching job abroad on a long-term basis. Time to seriously consider making your plans digital!
3. Choose your new home carefully
Perhaps the most exciting part of teaching overseas is the possibility of choosing your new home: anywhere in the world! Can you imagine a town without a school? Not that easy is it! There are towns with less than 100, or less than 50 residents that still have a school, which tells you everything you need to know: where there’s a school there’s an exciting opportunity for you to teach, ready to be discovered! From America to Japan, in Germany, Brazil and New Zealand, there really are hundreds of exciting options just waiting to be discovered. What does this mean? It means that there are thousands of locations for you to work, live, play and explore, all accessible with just one TEFL certificate. The world really is your oyster!
4. Having a base vs moving around
The choices for teachers these days are seemingly endless – teaching at entirely online schools is a real option. Having good equipment is crucial for this option however. The online teaching path forms an ideal option if you would rather be able to spend a fortnight here, or a month there, getting fully immersed in each place. Not for you? Online isn’t the only way, and the traditional in-person schooling options worldwide are vast and numerous, providing a wealth of opportunities. Time to have a think!
5. Use your citizenship to its full advantage
It’s worth looking carefully into where your own passport will get you on a longer term basis. For example, if you’re an EU citizen, good news: you are entitled to live and work in any EU member country right away without any further bureaucracy. Just make sure to get legal working status under EU laws sorted out, an easy process for those who are EU residents. Similar things can apply to those with Commonwealth passports.
6. Research internet access in your chosen country
With the advent of 4G now covering the bulk of the world, communication has never been easier. This applies to your English lessons too. Whereas 3G coverage struggles to support video calls, 4G has the capacity to cope, making online learning face-to-face a real possibility. Check out what your chosen country has to offer and get geared up with gadgets and apps to support your working time.
7. Consider what teaching materials you might use
It’s often said that teachers spend all their time outside of lessons laboriously creating powerpoints and resources. This doesn’t have to be the case! Many schools – both online and in-person – offer a package of awesome, exciting lesson plans and resource packs to keep lessons engaging for your students. This is a win-win: you spend less time preparing for class and your students are happier and come to every class with enthusiasm. Didn’t manage to find a school that provides all this? Don’t panic: there are still options. Many websites exist with searchable databases of resources for all lessons – including for teaching English as an additional language. A quick search could find you hundreds of helpful ideas, for free, or for a small fee.
8. Use your travels to engage your students
It is easy to forget that while you can travel around the planet at your leisure, or even explore neighboring countries , your classes and students may not have left their country or town at all. The idea of finding out about new places as part of their English learning, with you as their tour guide, will be a thrill to boost engagement levels in your teaching. Use postcards, trinkets, souvenirs and even tastings of the local cuisine to elevate your teaching to new levels of excitement.
So now you have some useful starting points, it’s time to get your thinking cap on, do some research, and get ready to teach overseas!